New overhead conveyor and hide drop-off system wins industry praise at local animal skin and hide processing facility27 Aug 2004
Luxford has recently completed final commissioning a new materials handling installation at major skin and hide export producer – A. H. Hides & Skins Australia Pty. Ltd., at North Laverton, Victoria.
The installation is very innovative and a first for Australia and the skin and hide sector.
The Luxford system involves firstly loading salted cured hides onto a wide purpose-built conveyor. At the end of the conveyor, an operator efficiently loads hides onto an X458 overhead chain conveyor system that utilizes a specially-designed hide hook system.
Once on the overhead conveyor system the individual hides are gradually raised to an ergonomically-designed height at which time the hides are given a final trim and inspection.
At the grading station an operator removes the head pieces and grades the hides into five classes via an adjacent control panel.
Hides are then, whilst continuously moving on the overhead conveyor, are accurately weighed as they pass through a weigh station. Custom-written software combines the information on the hide grade and weight to determine at which drop-off point the hides are released.
The conveyor then moves the hides to twelve weigh drop-off stations, where they fall onto handling tables, corresponding to the various weight ranges. The individual drop-off station tables are immediately adjacent to shipping pallets – minimizing the walking distance required to load pallets.
This system automatically grades hides to a narrow weight range in order to better determine the quality and the mix of hides received from suppliers and also allows A H hides more flexibility to meet the requirement individual customers.
According to managing director of A H Hides Mr. Neville Moses .. “With the conveying and weighing system that Luxford has installed my productivity and labour utilization has improved dramatically. I can now not only meet my individual customers hide requirements quickly and efficiently, but we can now also process significantly more hides in a day in less time and with less labour. This will give us lower costs and the ability to better compete on the global market.”
This system is one of three recent projects that Luxford has installed in the Victorian skin and hide sector in the last two years and according to Luxford’s sales director, Mr. Tony Gepp ….”We intend to work closely with the Australian skin and hide producers to help them improve their productivity and efficiency with leading edge conveyor and materials handling solutions so that they can increase their exports and provide better opportunities for the sector in the future.”
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